If you’re a fan of ramps and willing to forego the traditional Mountain Mama recipes for this less than delicate lily, then boy do I have a culinary treat for you to consider.
Right now, many towns in the state are holding ramp feeds. However, I am not a fan of the traditional manner in which ramps are prepared at these dinners. Most folks fry them in lard or bacon grease and then add them to potatoes or pinto beans. I think they’re prepared in this manner to cover up their rather pungent taste and smell.
My favorite way to consume these babies is to grill them, particularly over charcoal, and feature them as an accompaniment to protein like beef, pork or chicken. I will also sauté ramps in olive oil with just about any vegetable dish from broccoli to green beans to zucchini.
But today’s recipe includes the use of ramps to help spark up the rather bland flavors of white fish such as grouper, cod or halibut, and demonstrates that these odiferous little lilies, if applied prudently, can actually have a subtle influence on a dish.
And this lovely rendition of ramps-enhanced seafood really marries well with
crisp, yet rich, white wines such as verdicchio from around the commune of Matelica in the Italian state of Marche. The verdicchio in this region is much superior to the wine made from the same grape in other parts of Italy.
Here’s my choice to pair with the following recipe:
2016 Bisci Verdicchio de Matelica ($18) – Round, ripe and crisp, this wine has the depth and freshness to enhance the flavors of the dish while also providing a refreshing and thirst-quenching attribute.
Two six ounce filets of firm white fish (grouper, cod or halibut)
Six to eight cleaned and ramps
Two ounces of extra virgin olive oil
One-half teaspoon of salt, black pepper and hot pepper flakes (optional)
Four ounces of dry white wine (I would use the verdicchio above)
One-half teaspoon of minced garlic
One half pound of asparagus cut into half inch pieces
Sauté in olive oil the ramps, asparagus, garlic until translucent
Add the white wine and sauté along with the ingredients above for 30 seconds
Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
Remove sauté pan from heat
Sauté the fish -three minutes a side until firm
Reheat the sauté pan with the ramps and asparagus
Plate the fish and pour the ramp and wine sauce over the fish